Our plan for the Delaware River waterfront is moving toward the final stages. Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer comments on the recommendations, including the proposal to fill Penn's Landing with a mix of housing, cultural uses, and shops.
Changing Skyline: Master plan for riverfront nearly ready
By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
It's been almost a decade since Philadelphia started a long-overdue conversation about transforming the vacant acres along the Delaware River into a vital urban neighborhood. Yet, other than a single, suburban-style casino and some lonely high-rise condos, little change is visible on that bleak, postindustrial landscape.
The city now appears ready to stop talking and start doing.
After four decades of false starts and scattershot projects, consultants are putting the finishing touches on a detailed and focused master plan that will provide Philadelphia with step-by-step instructions for reinventing its waterfront. Now in its next-to-last draft, the plan was presented Tuesday night to neighborhood groups for what officials hope will be the final round of discussion.
Based on a presentation I saw last week, the most striking thing about the emerging master plan is the modesty of its ambition. At the same time, the proposals, even in their current rough form, appear more attainable than schemes floated in the past.
And that is mostly as it should be.